Friday, February 25, 2011

"Coloreds Blocked from Titanic?"












I always assumed that "Coloreds" were barred from passage on the Titanic as well as other luxury liners of a century ago by the tradition of Jim Crow.


On American lines this was mostly true. However on the White Star line apparently no specific regs. were written down. None that I've so far found.

This from the "encyclopedia titanica".

http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org

"Blacks were apparently permitted accommodations on the Titanic in 2nd and 3rd class. World champion Jack Johnson was offered such a spot when he sought tickets, but he refused to accept, saying they were beneath him."

"Probably saved his life."

Instances of black workers prevented from working on the ocean liner or prevented passage as servants of the richer passengers has not been officially documented. Not that it didn't in fact happen given the customs of the time.















Huddie Ledbetter


Lyrics of Leadbelly's "Titanic"

Captain Smith, when he got his load
Mighta heared him holl'in', All aboa'd
Cryin', Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well.
Jack Johnson wanted to ge on boa'd;
Captain Smith hollered, "I ain' haulin' no coal."
Cryin', Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well.
It was midnight on the sea,
Band playin', "Nearer My God to Thee."
Cryin', Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well.
Had them lifeboats aroun'
, Savin' the women, lettin' the men go down.
Cryin', Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well.
When the women got out on land,
Cryin', "Lawd, have mercy on my man."
Cryin', Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well.
Jack Johnson heard the mighty shock,
Mighta seen the black rascal doin' the Eagle Rock.
Cryin', Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well.
Black man oughta shout for joy,
Never lost a girl or either a boy.
Cryin', Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well.

(As with most artists each performance is different.)




Below is a radio control scale model of the ship in question. Well done! I was given a gift of a similar kit some years ago. This around the time that the last major "Titanic" film came out. I never built it out of superstition.

Shades of the Scottish Tragedy.

This is also, I assume, why 'no' ship no matter how grand has been so re-named.

2 comments:

Zaek said...

I guess riding first class isn't always a guarantee of impeccable service.

Cbsuesguy said...

Excellent post, Sidney.....Interesting, interesting....

Mr. Chips